Failed cinder block wall- demo or retro ?

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Old 07-29-07, 10:52 PM
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Failed cinder block wall- demo or retro ?

Hi All,

We're looking to put our house on the market in the near future.
We have a 60' cinder block retaining wall that is tilting out for its entire length. The wall is about 3' high which I believe negates the need for an engineered solution. There are several areas where it has failed and poor repairs were made.
My question is, can this be repaired? My wife's uncle has worked with Japanese engineers in the Phillipines, and believes he can fix this problem. I know he is going to digout about a foot behind the wall, and believes he can move the wall back too vertical. Not clear what he is doing with respect to etra rebar and concrete. I pulled a couple of bricks off, and notice that there is rebar w/concrete every 3 foot. Obviously not built properly. Not sure if there is any sort of drainage below either. This is in NorCal, so no frost worries.

My buddy is a real estate agent/broker, with construction experience. He is suggesting I take the entire wall down, and use it to build a dry stack wall for the area behind my deck. This would allow me to not have to pay someone to remove the concrete, and increase the depth of my backyard area. He suggests I then build a 2' high lumber wall in place of the cinder block one, and then either adjust the slope a bit or place another 1-1.5' lumber wall several feet back from the first.

The relative is honest and seems to know what he says and has built aditions for relatives to the local inspectors satisfaction.
The friend is knowledgeable, but may over estimate his real abilities/knowledge.

If I go with the relative, could I reface the crappy cinder block with some sort of masonry stucco?

Appreciate you time, and I can post a photo if that helps.
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Old 07-30-07, 06:16 AM
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Concrete blocks are designed for use as free standing walls, not retaining walls. A segmental retaining wall unit is designed for your application, and will not usually require engineering for a 3 foot wall.
 
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Old 07-30-07, 06:36 AM
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Failed cinder block wall- demo or retro ?

Just get rid of the old wall totally. Anything you do will be temporary.

If you wall tipped for the entire length, you do not have an adequate footing anf to tipped. You will not be able to repair the footing even if you can temporarily straighten the wall.

Segmental retaining wall block are designed for your type of wall and are replacing the old rigid wall. No conrete footings either (ever!!!).

Make sure you have well drained soil behind any retaining wall.

Dick
 
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Old 07-30-07, 01:45 PM
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Thank you both. I am going to go with removing all the block.
Buddy suggesting 5' lengths of 2" 1/8" piping pounded 2-3' into the ground, and bolting the wood in front. I'm skeptical, and think something like the more standard as here: http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/417360/2/istockphoto_417360_retaining_wall.jpg
would be smarter.

Thanks again for your time!
 
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Old 07-30-07, 02:20 PM
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Wood makes for poor retaining walls.
 
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Old 07-30-07, 02:56 PM
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Failed cinder block wall- demo or retro ?

You have no idea of the soil in that area, so driving pipe into the ground might work, but probably not, considering the failure of the old wall.

Take a look at the segmental retaining wall sites. These products do not use any poured concrete and are designed for walls similar to yours. That is the reason most cities use them when widening streets and moving sidewalks.

Google for Allan Block, Anchor Wall Systems, Keystone and VersaLok. They have many excellant ideas, installation instructions and technical information. They are available from local sources in the U.S. and internationally.

Dick
 
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